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Inside the Submissive Void Propaganda, Censorship, Power, & Control

Greg Maybury

Nothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and the implicit submission, with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers.
David Hume, “Of the First Principles of Government”, 1768

The use of propaganda and censorship is more frequently associated with totalitarian, corrupt and/or despotic regimes, not our purported democracies in the West. Yet the history of how western governments and their ever-vigilant overlords in the media, financial and business spheres have controlled the political narrative of the time via these means is a long, storied and ruinous one, going back well before 1914.

Along with serving the contemporaneous political objectives of its perpetrators as contrived, such activities often continue to inform our understanding, and cement our interpretation, of history.

If as the saying goes, “history repeats itself”, we need look no further as to the main reason why. In this wide ranging ‘safari’ into the disinformation, myth-making, fake news wilderness—aka The Big Shill—Greg Maybury concludes that “It’s the narrative, stupid!”

Controlling the Proles

The following yarn may be apocryphal, but either way the ‘moral of the fable’ should serve our narrative well. The story goes like this: sometime during the height of the Cold War a group of American journalists were hosting a visit to the U.S. of some of their Soviet counterparts.

After allowing their visitors some time to soak up the media zeitgeist stateside, most of the Americans expected their guests to express unbridled envy at the professional liberties they enjoyed in the Land of the Free Press.

One of the Russian scribes was indeed compelled to express his unabashed ‘admiration’ to his hosts…in particular, for the “far superior quality” of American “propaganda”. Now it’s fair to say his hosts were taken aback by what was at best a backhanded compliment.

After some collegial ‘piss-taking’ about the stereotypes associated with Western “press freedom” versus those of the controlled media in the Soviet system, one of the Americans called on their Russian colleague to explain what he meant. In fractured English, he replied with the following:

It’s very simple. In Soviet Union, we don’t believe our propaganda. In America, you actually believe yours!”

As highly amusing as this anecdote is, it masks a disturbing reality — the Russian journo’s jibe doesn’t simply remain true now; that ‘belief’ has become even more delusional, farcical, and above all, dangerous.

One suspects that Russian journos today would think much the same. 

And in few cases has the “delusional”, “farcical”, and “dangerous” nature of this conviction been more evident than with the West’s continued provocations of Russia, with “Skripalgate” in Old Blighty (see here, and here), and “Russia-Gate” stateside (see here, here, and here) being prime, though far from the only, exemplars we might point to.

Of course just recently we were all subjected to the ludicrous dog n’ pony show that was the much-touted London “media freedom” conference, organised under the auspices of the so-called Media Freedom Coalition (MFC), a UK/Canadian ‘initiative’.

As the name suggested, this was the establishment’s lip-service effort to be seen to be supporting or ‘defending’ media freedom, and initiating strategies and frameworks for the ‘protection’ of journalists. Lofty stuff to be sure. For my part I can’t recall another recent event that so unabashedly embraced the Orwellian playbook, absent any hint of irony or embarrassment from the parties involved.

To illustrate, after noting that ‘the world is becoming a more hostile place’ for journalists, the MFC website then righteously intones: [they] face dangers beyond warzones and extremism, including increasing intolerance to independent reporting, populism, rampant corruption, crime, and the breakdown of law and order…’

The cynic might be tempted to add: ‘And that’s just in our Western democracies!’

And who can forget the fatuous “integrity initiative” that preceded it, whose lofty ambitions aimed to ‘defend democracy against disinformation’? This is elite code for limiting free speech, already happening at a rate of knots, with the powers that be ‘setting up new perimeters’ online and offline.

The prevailing efforts by a range of people to make it a crime to criticise Israel or boycott the country is arguably the most insidious, egregious example. As well, the attempts by the MSM to designate genuine, independent analysis by alternative media as “fake news” is another one.

Such is the sophistication and ubiquity of the narrative control techniques used today—afforded increasingly by ‘computational propaganda’ via automated scripts, hacking, botnets, troll farms, and algorithms and the like, along with the barely veiled censorship and information gatekeeping practised by Google and Facebook and other tech behemoths — it’s become one of the most troubling aspects of the technological/social media revolution. (See also here, here, here, and here.)

Notably, the MFC conference came and went after organisers saw fit to exclude legitimate Russian news outlets RT and Sputnik, an ideological ‘fashion statement’ thoroughly at odds with the purported premise upon which it was instigated.

Moreover, there was little mention of the ‘elephant in the room’ Julian Assange—the person who embodies foremost the disconnect between the practice and the preaching of Western media freedom, to say little of underscoring the irony, self-serving opportunism, and double standards that frequently attend any mainstream debate about what it actually means.

Put bluntly, “media freedom” in the West is, increasingly, ‘more honoured in the breach than in the observance’, with the London confab all about keeping up appearances to the contrary. This was an event conceived of by soulless, demented, establishment shills, ‘…full of sound and fury, signifying nothing’.

The surreal spectacle though must have induced cognitive dissonance even amongst the pundits, and many head-shaking moments for Assange supporters and genuine truth-seekers alike.

As for Wikileaks and Assange himself, it’s worth noting the attitude of the national security state toward him. After accusing Assange of being a “narcissist”, “fraud”, and “a coward”, and labelling WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence service”, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared he [Assange] was “>eager to do the bidding of Russia and other American adversaries.”

Either way, his comments can be taken as more or less representative of Beltway and broader Western opinion, including in my own country Australia. Along with noting that official Washington’s hatred of Assange ‘borders on rabid’, Ted Carpenter offered the following:

[Assange] symbolises a crucial fight over freedom of the press and the ability of journalists to expose government misconduct without fear of prosecution. Unfortunately, a disturbing number of “establishment” journalists in the United States seem willing—indeed, eager—to throw him to the government wolves.’

Lapdogs for the Government

Here was, of course, another surreal spectacle, this time courtesy of one of the Deep State’s most dangerous, reviled, and divisive figures, a notable protagonist in the Russia-Gate conspiracy, and America’s most senior diplomat no less.

Not only is it difficult to accept that the former CIA Director actually believes what he is saying, well might we ask, “Who can believe Mike Pompeo?”

And here’s also someone whose manifest cynicism, hypocrisy, and chutzpah would embarrass the much-derided scribes and Pharisees of Biblical days.

We have Pompeo on record recently in a rare moment of honesty admitting – whilst laughing his ample ass off, as if recalling some “Boy’s Own Adventure” from his misspent youth with a bunch of his mates down at the local pub – that under his watch as CIA Director:

…We lied, cheated, we stole…we had entire training courses.’

It may have been one of the few times in his wretched existence that Pompeo didn’t speak with a forked tongue.

At all events, his candour aside, we can assume safely that this reactionary, monomaniacal, Christian Zionist ‘end-timer’ passed all the Company’s “training courses” with flying colours.

According to Matthew Rosenberg of the New York Times, all this did not stop Pompeo however from name-checking Wikileaks when it served his own interests. Back in 2016 at the height of the election campaign, he had ‘no compunction…about pointing people toward emails stolen* by Russian hackers from the Democratic National Committee and then posted by WikiLeaks.”

[NOTE: Rosenberg’s omission of the word “allegedly”—as in “emails allegedly stolen”—is a dead giveaway of bias on his part (a journalistic Freudian slip perhaps?), with his employer being one of those MSM marques leading the charge with the “Russian Collusion” ‘story’. For a more insightful view of the source of these emails and the skullduggery and thuggery that attended Russia-Gate, readers are encouraged to check this out.]

And this is of course The Company we’re talking about, whose past and present relationship with the media might be summed up in two words: Operation Mockingbird (OpMock). Anyone vaguely familiar with the well-documented Grand Deception that was OpMock, arguably the CIA’s most enduring, insidious, and successful psy-ops gambit, will know what we’re talking about. (See here, here, here, and here.) At its most basic, this operation was all about propaganda and censorship, usually operating in tandem to ensure all the bases are covered.

After opining that the MSM is ‘totally infiltrated’ by the CIA and various other agencies, for his part former NSA whistleblower William Binney recently added, ‘When it comes to national security, the media only talk about what the administration wants you to hear, and basically suppress any other statements about what’s going on that the administration does not want get public. The media is basically the lapdogs for the government.’

Even the redoubtable William Casey, Ronald Reagan’s CIA Director back in the day was reported to have said something along the following lines:

We know our disinformation program is complete when almost everything the American public believes is false.’

In order to provide a broader and deeper perspective, we should now consider the views of a few others on the subjects at hand, along with some history. In a 2013 piece musing on the modern significance of the practice, my compatriot John Pilger ecalled a time when he met Leni Riefenstahl back in 70s and asked her about her films that ‘glorified the Nazis’.

Using groundbreaking camera and lighting techniques, Riefenstahl produced a documentary that mesmerized Germans; as Pilger noted, her Triumph of the Will ‘cast Adolf Hitler’s spell’. She told the veteran Aussie journalist the “messages” of her films were dependent not on “orders from above”, but on the “submissive void” of the public.

All in all, Riefenstahl produced arguably for the rest of the world the most compelling historical footage of mass hysteria, blind obedience, nationalistic fervour, and existential menace, all key ingredients in anyone’s totalitarian nightmare. That it also impressed a lot of very powerful, high profile people in the West on both sides of the pond is also axiomatic: These included bankers, financiers, industrialists, and sundry business elites without whose support Hitler might’ve at best ended up a footnote in the historical record after the ill-fated beer-hall putsch. (See here, and here.)

Triumph” apparently still resonates today. To the surprise of few one imagines, such was the impact of the filmas casually revealed in the excellent 2018 Alexis Bloom documentary Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailesit elicited no small amount of admiration from arguably the single most influential propagandist of recent times.

[Readers might wish to check out Russell Crowe’s recent portrayal of Ailes in Stan’s mini-series The Loudest Voice, in my view one the best performances of the man’s career.]

In a recent piece unambiguously titled “Propaganda Is The Root Of All Our Problems”, my other compatriot Caitlin Johnstone also had a few things to say about the subject, echoing Orwell when she observed it was all about “controlling the narrative”.

Though I’d suggest the greater “root” problem is our easy propensity to ignore this reality, pretend it doesn’t or won’t affect us, or reject it as conspiratorial nonsense, in this, of course, she’s correct. As she cogently observes,

I write about this stuff for a living, and even I don’t have the time or energy to write…about every single narrative control tool that the US-centralised empire has been implementing into its arsenal. There are too damn many of them emerging too damn fast, because they’re just that damn crucial for maintaining existing power structures.’

The Discreet Use of Censorship and Uniformed Men

It is hardly surprising that those who hold power should seek to control the words and language people use’ said Canadian author John Ralston Saul in his 1993 book Voltaire’s Bastards–the Dictatorship of Reason in the West.

Fittingly, in a discussion encompassing amongst other things history, language, power, and dissent, he opined, ‘Determining how individuals communicate is’…an objective which represents for the power elites ‘the best chance’ [they] have to control what people think. This translates as: The more control ‘we’ have over what the proles think, the more ‘we’ can reduce the inherent risk for elites in democracy.

Clumsy men’, Saul went on to say, ‘try to do this through power and fear. Heavy-handed men running heavy-handed systems attempt the same thing through police-enforced censorship. The more sophisticated the elites, the more they concentrate on creating intellectual systems which control expression through the communications structures. These systems require only the discreet use of censorship and uniformed men.’

In other words, along with assuming it is their right to take it in the first place, ‘those who take power will always try to change the established language’, presumably to better facilitate their hold on it and/or legitimise their claim to it.

For Oliver Boyd-Barrett, democratic theory presupposes a public communications infrastructure that facilitates the free and open exchange of ideas.’ Yet for the author of the recently published RussiaGate and Propaganda: Disinformation in the Age of Social Media, ‘No such infrastructure exists.’

The mainstream media he says, is ‘owned and controlled by a small number of large, multi-media and multi-industrial conglomerates’ that lie at the very heart of US oligopoly capitalism and much of whose advertising revenue and content is furnished from other conglomerates:

The inability of mainstream media to sustain an information environment that can encompass histories, perspectives and vocabularies that are free of the shackles of US plutocratic self-regard is also well documented.’

Of course the word “inability” suggests the MSM view themselves as having some responsibility for maintaining such an egalitarian news and information environment. They don’t of course, and in truth, probably never really have! A better word would be “unwilling”, or even “refusal”. The corporate media all but epitomise the “plutocratic self-regard” that is characteristic of “oligopoly capitalism”.

Indeed, the MSM collectively functions as advertising, public relations/lobbying entities for Big Corp, in addition to acting as its Praetorian bodyguard, protecting their secrets, crimes, and lies from exposure. Like all other companies they are beholden to their shareholders (profits before truth and people), most of whom it can safely be assumed are no strangers to “self-regard”, and could care less about “histories, perspectives and vocabularies” that run counter to their own interests.

It was Aussie social scientist Alex Carey who pioneered the study of nationalism, corporatism, and moreso for our purposes herein, the management (read: manipulation) of public opinion, though all three have important links (a story for another time). For Carey, the following conclusion was inescapable: ‘It is arguable that the success of business propaganda in persuading us, for so long, that we are free from propaganda is one of the most significant propaganda achievements of the twentieth century.’ This former farmer from Western Australia became one of the world’s acknowledged experts on propaganda and the manipulation of the truth.

Prior to embarking on his academic career, Carey was a successful sheep grazier. By all accounts, he was a first-class judge of the animal from which he made his early living, leaving one to ponder if this expertise gave him a unique insight into his main area of research!

In any event, Carey in time sold the farm and travelled to the U.K. to study psychology, apparently a long-time ambition. From the late fifties until his death in 1988, he was a senior lecturer in psychology and industrial relations at the Sydney-based University of New South Wales, with his research being lauded by such luminaries as Noam Chomsky and John Pilger, both of whom have had a thing or three to say over the years about The Big Shill. In fact such was his admiration, Pilger described him as “a second Orwell”, which in anyone’s lingo is a big call.

Carey unfortunately died in 1988, interestingly the year that his more famous contemporaries Edward Herman and Chomsky’s book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media was published, the authors notably dedicating their book to him.

Though much of his work remained unpublished at the time of his death, a book of Carey’s essays – Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda Versus Freedom and Liberty — was published posthumously in 1997. It remains a seminal work.

In fact, for anyone with an interest in how public opinion is moulded and our perceptions are managed and manipulated, in whose interests they are done so and to what end, it is as essential reading as any of the work of other more famous names. This tome came complete with a foreword by Chomsky, so enamoured was the latter of Carey’s work.

For Carey, the three “most significant developments” in the political economy of the twentieth century were:

  1. the growth of democracy
  2. the growth of corporate power; and
  3. the growth of propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.

Carey’s main focus was on the following:

  1. advertising and publicity devoted to the creation of artificial wants;
  2. the public relations and propaganda industry whose principal goal is the diversion to meaningless pursuits and control of the public mind; and
  3. the degree to which academia and the professions are under assault from private power determined to narrow the spectrum of thinkable (sic) thought.

For Carey, it is an axiom of conventional wisdom that the use of propaganda as a means of social and ideological control is ‘distinctive’ of totalitarian regimes. Yet as he stresses: the most minimal exercise of common sense would suggest a different view: that propaganda is likely to play at least as important a part in democratic societies (where the existing distribution of power and privilege is vulnerable to quite limited changes in popular opinion) as in authoritarian societies (where it is not).’ In this context, ‘conventional wisdom” becomes conventional ignorance; as for “common sense”, maybe not so much.

The purpose of this propaganda barrage, as Sharon Bader has noted, has been to convince as many people as possible that it is in their interests to relinquish their own power as workers, consumers, and citizens, and forego their democratic right to restrain and regulate business activity. As a result the political agenda is now…confined to policies aimed at furthering business interests.’ 

An extreme example of this view playing itself right under our noses and over decades was the cruel fiction of the “trickle down effect” (TDE)—aka the ‘rising tide that would lift all yachts’—of Reaganomics. One of several mantras that defined Reagan’s overarching political shtick, the TDE was by any measure, decidedly more a torrent than a trickle, and said “torrent” was going up not down. This reality as we now know was not in Reagan’s glossy economic brochure to be sure, and it may have been because the Gipper confused his prepositions and verbs.

Yet as the GFC of 2008 amply demonstrated, it culminated in a free-for all, dog eat dog, anything goes, everyman for himself form of cannibal (or anarcho) capitalism — an updated, much improved version of the no-holds-barred mercenary mercantilism much reminiscent of the Gilded Age and the Robber Barons who ‘infested’ it, only one that doesn’t just eat its young, it eats itself!

Making the World Safe for Plutocracy

In the increasingly dysfunctional, one-sided political economy we inhabit then, whether it’s widgets or wars or anything in between, few people realise the degree to which our opinions, perceptions, emotions, and views are shaped and manipulated by propaganda (and its similarly ‘evil twin’ censorship,) its most adept practitioners, and those elite, institutional, political, and corporate entities that seek out their expertise.

It is now just over a hundred years since the practice of propaganda took a giant leap forward, then in the service of persuading palpably reluctant Americans that the war raging in Europe at the time was their war as well.

This was at a time when Americans had just voted their then-president Woodrow Wilson back into office for a second term, a victory largely achieved on the back of the promise he’d “keep us out of the War.” Americans were very much in what was one of their most isolationist phases, and so Wilson’s promise resonated with them.

But over time they were convinced of the need to become involved by a distinctly different appeal to their political sensibilities. This “appeal” also dampened the isolationist mood, one which it has to be said was not embraced by most of the political, banking, and business elites of the time, most of whom stood to lose big-time if the Germans won, and/or who were already profiting or benefitting from the business of war.

For a president who “kept us out of the war”, this wasn’t going to be an easy ‘pitch’. In order to sell the war the president established the Committee on Public Information (aka the Creel Committee) for the purposes of publicising the rationale for the war and from there, garnering support for it from the general public.

Enter Edward Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud, who’s generally considered to be the father of modern public relations. In his film Rule from the Shadows: The Psychology of Power, Aaron Hawkins says Bernays was influenced by people such as Gustave le Bon, Walter Lippman, and Wilfred Trotter, as much, if not moreso, than his famous uncle.

Either way, Bernays ‘combined their perspectives and synthesised them into an applied science’, which he then ‘branded’ “public relations”.

For its part the Creel committee struggled with its brief from the off; but Bernays worked with them to persuade Americans their involvement in the war was justified—indeed necessary—and to that end he devised the brilliantly inane slogan, “making the world safe for democracy”.

Thus was born arguably the first great propaganda catch-phrases of the modern era, and certainly one of the most portentous. The following sums up Bernays’s unabashed mindset:

The conscious, intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.’

The rest is history (sort of), with Americans becoming more willing to not just support the war effort but encouraged to view the Germans and their allies as evil brutes threatening democracy and freedom and the ‘American way of life’, however that might’ve been viewed then. From a geopolitical and historical perspective, it was an asinine premise of course, but nonetheless an extraordinary example of how a few well chosen words tapped into the collective psyche of a country that was decidedly opposed to any U.S involvement in the war and turned that mindset completely on its head.

[S]aving the world for democracy’ (or some ‘cover version’ thereof) has since become America’s positioning statement, ‘patriotic’ rallying cry, and the “Get-out-of-Jail Free” card for its war and its white collar criminal clique.

At all events it was by any measure, a stroke of genius on Bernays’s part; by appealing to people’s basic fears and desires, he could engineer consent on a mass scale. It goes without saying it changed the course of history in more ways than one. That the U.S. is to this day still using a not dissimilar meme to justify its “foreign entanglements” is testament to both its utility and durability.

The reality as we now know was markedly different of course. They have almost always been about power, empire, control, hegemony, resources, wealth, opportunity, profit, dispossession, keeping existing capitalist structures intact and well-defended, and crushing dissent and opposition.

The Bewildered Herd

It is instructive to note that the template for ‘manufacturing consent’ for war had already been forged by the British. And the Europeans did not ‘sleepwalk’ like some “bewildered herd’ into this conflagration.

For twenty years prior to the outbreak of the war in 1914, the then stewards of the British Empire had been diligently preparing the ground for what they viewed as a preordained clash with their rivals for empire the Germans.

To begin with, contrary to the opinion of the general populace over one hundred years later, it was not the much touted German aggression and militarism, nor their undoubted imperial ambitions, which precipitated its outbreak. The stewards of the British Empire were not about to let the Teutonic upstarts chow down on their imperial lunch as it were, and set about unilaterally and preemptively crushing Germany and with it any ambitions it had for creating its own imperial domain in competition with the Empire upon which Ol’ Sol never set.

The “Great War” is worth noting here for other reasons. As documented so by Jim Macgregor and Gerry Docherty in their two books covering the period from 1890-1920, we learn much about propaganda, which attest to its extraordinary power, in particular its power to distort reality en masse in enduring and subversive ways.

In reality, the only thing “great” about World War One was the degree to which the masses fighting for Britain were conned via propaganda and censorship into believing this war was necessary, and the way the official narrative of the war was sustained for posterity via the very same means.  “Great” maybe, but not in a good way!

In these seminal tomes—World War One Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War and its follow-up Prolonging the Agony: How the Anglo-American Establishment Deliberately Extended WWI by Three-And-A-Half YearsMacgregor and Docherty provide a masterclass for us all of the power of propaganda in the service of firstly inciting, then deliberately sustaining a major war.

The horrendous carnage and destruction that resulted from it was of course unprecedented, the global effects of which linger on now well over one hundred years later.

Such was the enduring power of the propaganda that today most folks would have great difficulty in accepting the following; this is a short summary of historical realities revealed by Macgregor and Docherty that are at complete odds with the official narrative, the political discourse, and the school textbooks:

  1. It was Great Britain (supported by France and Russia) and not Germany who was the principal aggressor in the events and actions that let to the outbreak of war;
  2. The British had for twenty years prior to 1914 viewed Germany as its most dangerous economic and imperial rival, and fully anticipated that a war was inevitable;
  3. In the U.K. and the U.S., various factions worked feverishly to ensure the war went on for as long as possible, and scuttled peacemaking efforts from the off;
  4. key truths about this most consequential of geopolitical conflicts have been concealed for well over one hundred years, with no sign the official record will change;
  5. very powerful forces (incl. a future US president) amongst U.S. political, media, and economic elites conspired to eventually convince an otherwise unwilling populace in America that U.S. entry onto the war was necessary;
  6. those same forces and many similar groups in the U.K. and Europe engaged in everything from war profiteering, destruction/forging of war records, false-flag ops, treason, conspiracy to wage aggressive war, and direct efforts to prolong the war by any means necessary, many of which will rock folks to their very core.

But peace was not on the agenda. When, by 1916, the military failures were so embarrassing and costly, some key players in the British government were willing to talk about peace. This could not be tolerated. The potential peacemakers had to be thrown under the bus. The unelected European leaders had one common bond: They would fight Germany until she was crushed.

Prolonging the Agony details how this secret cabal organised to this end the change of government without a single vote being cast. David Lloyd George was promoted to prime minister in Britain and Georges Clemenceau made prime minister in France. A new government, an inner-elite war cabinet thrust the Secret Elite leader, Lord Alfred Milner into power at the very inner-core of the decision-makers in British politics.

Democracy? They had no truck with democracy. The voting public had no say. The men entrusted with the task would keep going till the end and their place-men were backed by the media and the money-power, in Britain, France and America.

Propaganda Always Wins

But just as the pioneering adherents of propaganda back in the day might never have dreamt how sophisticated and all-encompassing the practice would become, nor would the citizenry at large have anticipated the extent to which the industry has facilitated an entrenched, rapacious plutocracy at the expense of our economic opportunity, our financial and material security, our physical, social and cultural environment, our values and attitudes, and increasingly, our basic democratic rights and freedoms.

We now live in the Age of the Big Shill—cocooned in a submissive void no less—an era where nothing can be taken on face value yet where time and attention constraints (to name just a few) force us to do so; [where] few people in public life can be taken at their word; where unchallenged perceptions become accepted reality; where ‘open-book’ history is now incontrovertible not-negotiable, upon pain of imprisonment fact; where education is about uniformity, function, form and conformity, all in the service of imposed neo-liberal ideologies embracing then prioritising individual—albeit dubious—freedoms.

More broadly, it’s the “Roger Ailes” of this world—acting on behalf of the power elites who after all are their paymasters—who create the intellectual systems which control expression through the communications structures, whilst ensuring…these systems require only ‘the discreet use of censorship and uniformed men.’

They are the shapers and moulders of the discourse that passes for the accepted lingua franca of the increasingly globalised, interconnected, corporatised political economy of the planet. Throughout this process they ‘will always try to change the established language.’

And we can no longer rely on our elected representatives to honestly represent us and our interests. Whether this decision making is taking place inside or outside the legislative process, these processes are well and truly in the grip of the banks and financial institutions and transnational organisations. In whose interests are they going to be more concerned with?

We saw this all just after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) when the very people who brought the system to the brink, made billions off the dodge for their banks and millions for themselves, bankrupted hundreds of thousands of American families, were called upon by the U.S. government to fix up the mess, and to all intents given a blank cheque to so do.

That the U.S. is at even greater risk now of economic implosion is something few serious pundits would dispute, and a testament to the effectiveness of the snow-job perpetrated upon Americans regarding the causes, the impact, and the implications of the 2008 meltdown going forward.

In most cases, one accepts almost by definition such disconnects (read: hidden agendas) are the rule rather than the exception, hence the multi-billion foundation—and global reach and impact—of the propaganda business. This in itself is a key indicator as to why organisations place so much importance on this aspect of managing their affairs.

At the very least, once corporations saw how the psychology of persuasion could be leveraged to manipulate consumers and politicians saw the same with the citizenry and even its own workers, the growth of the industry was assured.

As Riefenstahl noted during her chinwag with Pilger after he asked if those embracing the “submissive void” included the liberal, educated bourgeoisie? “Everyone,” she said.

By way of underscoring her point, she added enigmatically: ‘Propaganda always wins…if you allow it’.

Greg Maybury is a freelance writer based in Perth, Australia. His main areas of interest are American history and politics in general, with a special focus on economic, national security, military, and geopolitical affairs. For 5 years he has regularly contributed to a diverse range of news and opinion sites, including OpEd News, The Greanville Post, Consortium News, Dandelion Salad, Global Research, Dissident Voice, OffGuardian, Contra Corner, International Policy Digest, the Hampton Institute, and others.
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Molloy
Molloy

For emphasis.

“……engaging, without calling out, perpetuates the problem of “elite” war criminals walking free.”

Most adults in so-called “western democracies” are, unwittingly, war crime facilitators.

.

Molloy
Molloy

How we are all dynamited into submission and acquiescence.

A tussle, today, on tw*tter re false flags (blocked at 7 attempts to post)!! Who on earth would wish to conceal that the Towers had been dynamited?!!

[email protected] i.e. building demolished by explosives = fals$$e flag$$. https://benthamopen.com/contents/pdf/TOCPJ/TOCPJ-2-7.pdf

Brian Steere

Underneath the interpersonal manipulation is the very nature of the personal mind AS a manipulative intent.

A direct understanding of ‘mind-capture, ‘mind-control’ or ‘narrative control’, locates the primary vector of deceit as our OWN split mind as the non-acceptance of relational being under denial – and the projection of the denial onto the Other as onto the World – but as an externality of distantiation and dissociation – in other words as the withholding of love and the withdrawal from love – such that love is feared as the sacrifice or loss of self, in destruction or denial of a sense of self-separateness.
And this is essentially the denier projecting denial and reaping an abundance of limitation, debt and conflict.

However, from the perspective of freedom, freedom cannot be thrust upon us but only extended through and among us willingly. This implicitly holds the choice to deny truth by the generation of illusions used to block a true or direct awareness.

The core beliefs and definitions that hold a substitute reality against a true reconciliation within a shared relational awareness are reversals of thinking and not reversals of love.
The ‘Separation’ also known as the Fall is fundamentally a breakdown in Communication – experienced as both a fall from Life as Communication or indeed Communion – and the becoming or possession and wielding of power over Life. BOTH the victim of loss and lack, abandonment or betrayal – assigned to self, other or Existence but suffered as our own experience of self and world.

The mind of a Self-evasion is seeking anything and by any means to maintain or sustain its separate self-sense as its ‘independent’ existence set against death or utter humiliation and undoing that physical death would ‘save from’.

The mind as a filtered and distorting defence against reality is of course the be-living of its OWN reality experience. When our experience is dissonant, conflicted and conflicting to our sense of self we seek to escape, overcome, get rid of or redefine our self and world so as toe MAP it out of our personal or surface awareness by assigning the symptoms or consequences AWAY from self onto anything that works as a diversionary displacement.

Filling our relational world with our hates, fears and denials has not ‘got rid’ of them, but has piled them up as a backlog of denied self seeking acceptance and as a result of persistent exclusion, polarised with a negative charge such the defences of attempt to control pile up to exclude. This shows as polarised exclusions and shifting manipulative ‘alliances’ of a private self-interest presenting as some form of for the good of all – or more potently for the saving of the victims who attract sympathy and therefore a predisposition to side with. The same applies to targeted antipathies or scapegoated ‘enemies’.

Merely thinking ABOUT this is only more thinking for the mind that thinks to maintain its own fight or flight strategy relative to the ‘otherness’ of any challenge to its underlying but internalised conditioning beliefs.

I am here inviting a CURRENT willingness to uncover core beliefs and definitions in the process of their reactive response and resulting experience – so as to bring them to the light of a true relational awareness. But the mind of evasive deceit is calling forth ANYTHING that works to undermine or subvert and corrupt such a willingness.

Both voices are within our mind but only one is true. Do we choose to release what is not true to uncover or re-cognise what Is? If not – why not? Are we making complex layered ‘reasons’ or diversions so as to delay or defer the reliving of hated or feared experience that we automatically project onto the ‘Unknown’ and thus expect – so as to already enact defence against the emergence of Life exactly as Big Brother’s boot on the rising face of humanity or indeed of Herod’s mass infanticide in fear of a usurping new ‘king’.

Waking or re-cognising our true responsibility is releasing what is NOT ours so as to be whole in what is.
Trying to take over or manipulate another’s life is losing our own whether via sympathies or via an attempt to impact or persuade them to be other than what they are.

Yet being true to ourself is the capacity of a compassionate resonance to the same quality in others – regardless their current self-presentation – and thus a capacity to join in strength of an integrative willingness in place of the weakness of a dis-integrative wilfulness and its submission to a hollow or loveless power.

In seeking to NOT attract or risk penalty we learn what can not be said or done inductively – because the underlying but hidden power structure is a mutually reinforcing self-interest set by fear. But power given to survival is neither whole nor able to embrace or unfold wholeness. Structure needs to yield to the movement of being rather than confine it – or rather – our need is to move in alignment with our true desire and not against it in attempt to substitute a forgery given power.

Molloy
Molloy

Smoke? Mirrors? Prolixity?

Brian Steere

It is easier to deceive ( or persist in deceits) than show people they are deceived.
And that they WANT to persist in self illusion while hating others as the cause of their decision. A mental partitioning operates under a narrative identity. Divide and rule.

This is succinct and to the point – engage with it or reveal you have no real interest in what mind manipulation is – but merely the wish to engage in it for your own agenda.

Molloy
Molloy

Yes. However, engaging without calling out perpetuates the problem of “elite” war criminals walking free.
Sláinte

Molloy
Molloy

Yes. ““The unelected European leaders had one common bond: They would fight Germany until she was crushed.”

Priceless!! They are all fairly and democratically elected now!!! (irony alert).

Molloy
Molloy

Sorry, Mr Maybury. It is not the “reader’s job” (see yours below).

Greg…. your vaguely undermining discourse is noted.

Being.
Each human person, in the real, existential world, bears a responsibility.
That responsibility is to call out war crimes and corruption and murder. And to not look away from injustice.

Being.
True democracy, authentic democratic leaders, are also inclined to call out war crimes and corruption.

Blithely referencing “western democracies” is a standard psyops technique used by MSM and all the Five Eyes regimes.
The implication that “western democracies” are anything other than war criminals is absurd and deliberate blindness.

Have a nice day, Greg.

vexarb
vexarb

“The unelected European leaders had one common bond: They would fight Germany until she was crushed.”

And they would not regard Germany as crushed until the Mesopotamian oilfields of Germany’s ally Turkey had been taken over by “Dear Lord Rothschield’s” oil company BP “with a half share to His Majesty’s Govt”; and Palestine taken over by Britain to set up a National Home for the Jews.

Hence the merciless propaganda against “German Militarism” — which Oxford historians still preach as the cause of WW1. And the incessant tirade of hate against the Kaiser. As a boy reading a few years after WW2 some bound volumes of our MSM from WW1, I was struck by the intensity of the hatred in them: far more than the hatred our generation felt for Hitler and WW2 Germany. Perhaps my parents generation were beginning to see through the AZC propaganda: that was when Britain threw out Churchill the Fascist-sympathising warmonger, and Socialism swept over Europe.

Peter Hollings
Peter Hollings

The “apocryphal” story mentioned near the beginning of this excellent essay is true. I remember it well. Nikita Khrushchev was leading a Soviet delegation to the US as I recall during the late ’50s. He was visiting various factories where our industrialists were showing him the fruits of American capitalism: domestic appliances, automobiles, etc. Doubtless, they were materially superior to most Soviet products, but he was acting unimpressed except for the comment reported here about the success of American propaganda.

I think nothing could be more potent proof of both intent and action than a self-indictment. I am thinking of the report on “The Governability of Democracies” co-authored by Harvard shill Samuel Huntington for David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission.

There is an under-recognized, but excellent compilation of many details of propaganda in the essay by David Deserano, “Information Control For Social Manipulation”. ( See: http://whale.to/a/deserano.html )

vexarb
vexarb

Krushchev had a far more important experience in the U$A: his visit to a farm in the corn belt (I believe it was Illinois). They gave him a shuck of Pioneer Hi-Bred Corn to hold, and his pudgy eyes popped out at the size of it. That was the end of Lysenkoism in Russia’s propaganda machine, and a return to scientific genetics.

Propaganda has the jaw but Reality has the bite.

Greg Maybury

Peter, I tried to locate the original source for the intro, but was unable to, which would suggest your research or recall skills exceed mine. Good thing I’m not an investigative journo I suppose. 😎👍 Many thanks for the ‘donation’. Best, GM

Gezzah Potts

An really important and detailed analysis of the insidious role of the ‘media’ and how they serve power Greg. Thank you for this. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. The example of Germany was given leading up to WW1, and now the same frenzied propaganda is happening again; this time against Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela as the targets, with absolutely catastrophic consequences for humanity and this Planet.
I usually refer to the mainstream media for what they actually are: presstitutes and stenographers for the 0.01℅ – the vultures who pillage and plunder this Planet for their unadulterated greed. The recent Media Freedom Conference in London was pure newspeak. The World is now akin to the Mad Hatters tea party in Alice In Wonderland; truly surreal, and the machinations of the Anglo Zionist Empire are fully nerve wracking.
I wish this fine work could be read widely, but given the current climate, you would probably be labelled a conspiracy theorist.

mark
mark

The lies and poison spewed out by the MSM before and during WW1 are exactly the same as we are seeing now.
The Bayonetted Belgian Babies/ The Raped Belgian Nuns/ The Crucified Canadian Prisoners/ The Human Bodies Turned Into Soap.
Fast forward to the present day.
The Iraq Incubator Babies/ Iraq WMD/ Russiagate/ Skripal/ Syrian Gas Hoaxes.

Gezzah Potts

Correct. All to keep the system in place and support and protect those who really rule. Paul Craig Roberts (and others) refers to them as presstitutes, and that’s exactly what they are. Just chinless, craven lowlifes, espec those who claim to be ‘progressive’ as in Guardian journos.

Vierotchka
Vierotchka

Excellent article, Greg.

Molloy
Molloy

Attempted suppression on replying to a post re. Submissive Void on the Craig Murray blog ? !!


Molloy
August 17, 2019 at 17:33
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Molloy (offguardian ….posted on Maybury; Submissive Void article)
“Molloy
Greg, thanks. Guess you have to promote the book there!
Re. “The cynic might be tempted to add: ‘And that’s just in our Western democracies!’ “
Democracy? Are you suggesting that the ‘Five Eyes’ regimes are controlled by fairly elected political representatives?
Or, did you omit to mention that the so-called political institutions (party puppets) are in reality controlled by a small clique self-selected from corporate-monied-MIC elite?
Is there something I’ve misread?!
Please help me out. Thanks.”

Molloy
Molloy

Greg, thanks. Guess you have to promote the book there!
Re. “The cynic might be tempted to add: ‘And that’s just in our Western democracies!’ “

Democracy? Are you suggesting that the ‘Five Eyes’ regimes are controlled by fairly elected political representatives?
Or, did you omit to mention that the so-called political institutions (party puppets) are in reality controlled by a small clique self-selected from corporate-monied-MIC elite?

Is there something I’ve misread?!
Please help me out. Thanks.

Greg Maybury

G’day Molloy, Thx for the feedback. Don’t understand the “have to promote the book here..” bit. Whose book are we referring to?

As for the latter, I think I made it clear which side of the fence I’m sitting, short of flatly stating it outright, or bashing people over the head. Not my style old son. I like a bit of nuance and irony.

I can’t answer the question of if you’ve “misread” anything. That’s the reader’s job I think. I can’t do it all🤔.

George
George

There is another aspect to narrative control – it’s a strange disjunct between reality and a matter that can be admitted but then oddly relegated to some kind of twilit zone where it can be repressed, even when mentioning it. I talked about that confidence trick, the Nayirah testimony, to an acquaintance who seemed to take it in but who later referred to it as “one of your conspiracy theories” at which point I realised he had consigned the story to the aforementioned twilit zone. And even irritably pointing out that it was a conspiracy FACT did me no good. I realised that many people simply compartmentalize information so that the unpleasant stuff just doesn’t register. Perhaps this curious attitude has something to do with movie culture where many people can assign the nasty stuff to a fictional frame.

This acquaintance also gave me predictable stuff about how none of my “conspiracy theories” include the possibility that America has been maligned. This is that old straw man about “hating America” and signifies a deeply ingrained narrative that will not be shifted. The old Catholic idea about indoctrinating children till the age of 8 and making them permanent Catholics is a very pragmatic device that can be assigned to any doctrine.

wardropper
wardropper

Good point.
Since the advent of hi-fi audio systems and TV, people have become completely accustomed to having an “OFF” switch on everything.
They haven’t even noticed how easily that switch transfers to their own minds when they meet conflict.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

The secret, Wardropper, is don’t have a TV and learn where & how to operate the volume & balance controls on the Hi-Fi, as well as the ‘off’ button 🙂

Oh, and of course, drive a hardline & bargain around any Hollywood & BBC propaganda.

Other than that, yours also a good point & salient comment, too . . .
(chuckle, most brains are permanently on holiday, these days, when it comes to challenging their ill-founded wee opinions, not based on fact: as was confirmed to me yesterday, once again, by some Brits. down by my local ‘Vulture Centre’ … thankfully an Eagle-eyed German friend arrived safely & saved the day from ‘pricks’ to pickle) 🙂

wardropper
wardropper

I did without a TV for two years in the eighties when my kids were growing up.
That probably saved us all from everlasting doom, although of course I should never have weakened after those two years…
At any rate I can’t bear to watch MSM news any more – what an insult to a normal human being’s intelligence! But there is fortunately still other content out there which doesn’t consist entirely of dumbing-down propaganda.
My own version of “the secret” is to keep one’s mind alert at all times, and, even when the deep state is at its most insulting, to remain at least acutely aware of exactly what it is doing, even if there isn’t much you can do about changing it right now.

BigB
BigB

Zeroth Order Reality = Noumenal; Ding-an-sich (Things-in-themselves); Supra-consciousness;

First Order Reality = Phenomenal; ‘Collective Cognitive Unconscious’; ‘Proto-self’; Sensorium-motorium; ‘Dharmadatu’ (ground or substratum of the psychophysical senses);

Second Order Reality = Epistemological Phenomenological; Perceptual/conceptual; Conscious; ‘Pre-ontological self-awareness’; Pramana (valid cognition); Imposition (living language with veridical referential real world ‘reality’)

Third Order Reality = Ontological Phenomenological; Conceptual; Ontological Self-Awareness (‘being qua Being’); ‘Philosopho-political’ and ‘socio-cultural’ imaginarium; subjective Hyperrealism; Simulation and Simulacra (Nth Order unreality); Super-imposition (self-referential worldview; worldviews that the world is fitted to rather than fit the world); Abhuta-Parikalpa (taking the objective referent as external; taking the unreal for the real);

There is a recently published book by Don Hoffman – “The Case Against Reality” – that is pertinent to the perceived polarisation of the politicised worldview. It is also pertinent to why and how we are propagandised.

The book has generated such headlines as “Reality: the greatest illusion of all”. No, ‘reality’ has to be semantically ‘real’ – if not ‘ultimately real’ – otherwise language is the greatest illusion of all. Which it is. At least it is generative of all metaphysical illusion – the entire plane of the ‘philosopho-political’. Which is the unreality we daily take to be reality. Including such highly politicised and grandiloquent illusions such as ‘Democracy’; ‘Justice’; ‘Equality’; ‘Prosperity’ and ‘Progress’. Whatever they may mean.

Whatever they may mean – it must be apparent by now – is a myriad of different things to different people. We hear what we want to hear: which is usage-based and experiential (we experience previous experience – mostly (98%) unconsciously). The propagandist says one thing: the propagandised hears another.

But it can’t be one way traffic. It’s the ‘them’ and ‘us’ false dichotomy again. It’s the bad ‘Ad-men’ propagandising the ‘sheeple’ …which, of course, has validity. But why do we/they believe? Propaganda can only work if it targets and activates a shared narrative construction (either at the grand narrative or sub-narrative level). We believe because we are naïve: and ‘they’ know how to trigger our altruistic and humanitarian deep unconscious narratives. Call them ‘frame semantics’; ‘Ideal Case Models’ (ICMs); faery tales; or myths …they know how to tap into our Collective Cognitive Unconscious and push our ICMs. You can watch George Lakoff pontificate at a fairly superficial level about Trump. But I’m not interested in the superficial expose of cognitive linguistics: I’m interested in ‘Why?’ Why are we so gullible to low and high level cognitive manipulators? And why do we fall for it time and time again?

Perhaps, because we are grounded not in a sensible and intelligible reality (‘pramanic’ – of the First and Second Order). We are grounded in a socially and privately constructed simulation (of the Third (and subsequent ‘Nth’) Order). We are wholly what we conceive, not what we phenomenologically perceive/conceive (valid cognition rooted in the psychophysical experiential). We’ve altered our reality (and our self-validating perception of it) into a ‘philosopho-political’ simulation. Which we have done as a trans-historic process of abstracted reification. Which – as a trans-temporal and trans-generational transcendental – now has little or no point of contemporaneous contact with reality …of any sort of reality. It is a self-referential superimposition of unreality we take for the underlying reality. We confirm the superimposition not daily – but momentarily. We are living in our own highly politicised philosophical nightmare.

Philosophical: because nearly all the ontological primitive constructs and primary metaphoric concepts (assembled as our collective unconscious narratives) we employ are hundreds of years – if not at least two millennia (or older) – out of date. But we contemporise them momentarily to validate our received cultural-conditioning …without even realising they are encyclopaedically contained in the language-function. Just waiting to be triggered.

Not just the English language-function: there is a remarkable broad generalisation across the spectrum of languages. I’m talking of the proto-generative ‘taken-for-granted’ ontological primitive constructs: ‘Self’; ‘Mind’ (Being); ‘Space’; ‘Time’ (space-time); ‘Event Causality’; …and in so-called advanced cultures – ‘Numbers’; ‘Values’; ‘Morality’. Everyone acquires these proto-ontological constructs – laden as they are with millennia of philosophical baggage – and uses them as building blocks to construct abstractions – without ever testing their validity. We take them as they are culturally and sociolinguistically encoded – in the language-function and in the Collective Cognitive Unconscious – without question.

That, in a nutshell, is why we are propagandised and propagandising – because we do not know what is ‘real’. We have no shared reference point outside the self-referential cultural-conditioning – the philosopho-political imaginarium. Science, spirituality, and modern linguistics are all converging on a point where all our basic pre-ontological constructs need re-evaluation …from dualisms to nondual processual realities. If the basic constructs are flawed – and they are the protocols of a dualised linguistic ‘reality’ generation – then the language-function (and logic-function) are going to diverge from nondual realism over time into varying degrees of dualistic simulation. Which those who can will manipulate for as long as the language is disaggregating and disassociated from reality.

As cognitive linguistics is returning to: language is not separate from thought and consciousness (meaning is not immaterial and there are no autonomous language modules floating in a neo-Platonic rational heaven – no formalised generative grammar). We are the stories we are told and tell ourselves. We are our own narrative constructivism. Time to make it ‘real’: to embody our own meaning …which is to forego the narration for the actualisation of the living experience. Zen and the art of narrative nihilation …bye, bye to the ‘submissive void’ – devoid of all meaning. Waiting to be filled with propaganda – including self-propaganda.

Ramdan
Ramdan

….then, a good starting point is to question “the cultural conditioning and the plilosopho-political imaginarium.” To recognize it for what it is: a construction of the mind, a non-existent “reality”.

Language can not contain or explain anything that is Real. Reality lies beyond and precedes language. As soon as language comes into play, Reality is distorted and all we are left is with the construction.
At any given moment of existance, the intrusion of language – a socio-cultural and historical construct- and our fascination with it, replaces The Void with the submissive void.
In our race to be filled with momentary externalities, we end up falling emptied into that submissive void. Only, when the racing stops then we have a chance to see that wich is…..then propaganda doesn’t work anymore: ‘propaganda’ is no more.

BigB
BigB

Totally, Ramdan: but silence is not a valid political position. We live in a linguistic culture. We have ‘language bodies’. That is: the ability for comprehension and linguistic communication is psychophysical and embodied. Our metaphors and frames are wired into our neuronal circuitry …possibly in a unique way in each individual. That means meaning is ’embodied’ too. We have personalised ‘meaning bodies’: or ‘bodies of comprehension’.

That is: key lexical terms have uncontested core meanings that are shared and public. The fully networked and nuanced meanings are private/public – with instances of personal usage and private experience added and physically embedded (Hebb’s axiom: neurons that fire together: wire together). If you think of an ontological primitive concept like ‘Mind’: there is no singular definition that could possibly bound and encapsulate its usage. It is not far off being able to say: we are each ‘silos of solipsism’ …as far as our personal embodied semantics go.

Which is borne out in our politics. So how do we rectify this with silence? We have to enter language to reclaim language. We have to enter the political realm. To do that: we have to understand language.

OK: this is pretty abstruse – but pertinent. If we carry on the illusion that our language faculty is fully formed and fully capable of expressing something called ‘real’ or ‘reality’ …we have to understand the inherent biases in the linguistic and logic functions. Language is not a disembodied autonomous entity: it is embodied and physically ‘real’ …encoded in our neuronal circuitry. Language shapes consciousness in a physical way. Our concepts are wired into our brains (critically: not ‘hardwired’ but neuroplastic and variable. We can change the way we think. Changing conception changes perception.) The major circuitry is myelinated* together. We do not see the world: we see a personal worldview …one that is embedded neuronally.

[*As yet, this is one of Lakoff’s hypotheses – not a hard fact. However, it makes much more sense than abstract and floating meanings ‘external’ to our embodiment. Even if the exact mechanism has yet to be ‘proved’.]

Nonetheless, language physically shapes our perception of reality. This is one of the consequences of neursoscience and cognitive linguistics …and Yogacara. Which makes Vasubandhu the greatest philosopher/psychologist no one has ever heard of.

*Vijnana-parinamo* can be loosely translated as ‘linguistic turn’ or ‘ontological turn’. Into a wholly conceptual and psycholinguistic realm that is perceptually superimposed on ‘reality’. What we see is not ‘real’, but concepts of the ‘real’ that are mere ‘appearances only’ (*vijnapti-matrata*). Those imaginary conceptual appearances are taken to be the underlying ‘reality’ …and become the philosopho-political unreality. This is an imagined *abhuta-parikalpa* – a ‘non-existent mental construction’. I could transliterate *parikalpita* as a ‘collectively hallucinated psycholinguistic constructivism’ …without changing its original sense and meaning. One that is consensually agreed: without the realisation that it is a covering or veiling of the Real (*avaranas*).

So it might be a highly abstruse point: but what is ‘real’ is what is will be our refuge. It is the only thing that can liberate us (which is the sole purpose of Yogacara). So we pretty well need to open the dialogue as to what it means to be real in this increasingly unreal world.

In your own defintion: you placed ‘real’ outside language. Which is to place it outside experience. We can only approach and establish the Real through language. This is fundamental. Whether the real is ultimately ineffable – the Madhyamakan POV – is not very helpful currently. The Yogacaran position is that consciousness is ‘real’. That is, it is the only shared referential point we can have. Unreal realities are the problem; new unreal realities cannot be the solution.

Unless we can have an embodied and publicly shareable referential point that we can say is real – no matter how figurative that may be (and all language is figurative, not fixed objectively). That referential real must be experiential and communicable as the basis of language. That we have so many competing and contested candidates for reality is why things are so fucked up. “Reality is the greatest illusion” is not a viable or even logical semantic construction. It’s just an example: one that exhibits that our collective concepts are unreal and superimposed.

As for politics: its very essence is to trade ‘non-existent mental constructions’ for overpower. Overpower that coercively imposes those shared and validated political unrealities. Unrealities based on negentropic perpetual exponential growth …which is a more fundamental ‘non-existent mental construction’. Even when exposed by entropy: we majoritarianly prefer our Hyperreal highly personalised subjective constructivisms. Samsara is psycholinguistic and ontologically personalised. Language is important. It not only influences how we think: it encodes who we are. Now, if we only had a shared universal referential for who we really are …we might burst the linguistically hallucinated Samsaric bubble?

Consensus reality is Samsaric: the political fundamental of the ‘Unreality Based Community’. Its politics and economics are faith based. Which should be self-apparent by now. I guess the translation is forever lost in the self-reference of the language?

Ramdan
Ramdan

Rumi put it way more beautiful than I could:

“There is some kiss we want
with our whole lives,
the touch of Spirit on the body.

Seawater begs the pearl
to break its shell.

And the lily, how passionately
it needs some wild Darling!

At night, I open the window
and ask the moon to come
and press its face against mine.
Breathe into me.

CLOSE THE LANGUAGE-DOOR,
AND OPEN THE LOVE-WINDOW

THE MOON WON’T USE THE DOOR,
ONLY THE WINDOW.”

Gezzah Potts

Appreciate the Rumi poem, thanks Ramdan.

George
George

Good article. A few comments:

Re: the constant emergence of ever new groups e.g. the “Media Freedom Coalition”, the “integrity initiative” etc., it’s funny how the Western media automatically assume that the sheer proliferation of these entities – along with the proliferation of political parties and candidates for office – is, in itself, an indication of “freedom”. (While they conveniently ignore the obvious fact that all these ever changing puppets are paraded by the same financial forces.)

The general phenomenon that the article describes – the stepping up of mind control procedures – seems to me to be part of a nervous response to the real potential of the internet to get real news out there. The powers that be are becoming increasingly anxious about REAL alternative outlets as opposed to the phoney alternatives they have been providing.

This is exacerbated by the worsening economic condition of the masses who are becoming increasingly troublesome since the large scraps they have were thrown when Western capitalism was in a healthy condition have been decreasing along with that health and the increasing claims of the wealthy.

I still hear glib chattering that seems to take for granted the old model of Western politics summed up by that quaint term “collective bargaining” i.e. that idea that “we” are all involved and have the best of possible worlds featuring a compromised capitalism. But the point when someone makes the discovery that an item in the media is not true or has been distorted is the point when the power structure loses another “believer”. And that is causing major concern amongst the puppet masters.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee

Now that was one hell of an article. Sheer poetry. The reason being is that it was uncovering the truth. Official writing is vague and wooden, precisely because it is trying to do the opposite. The creation of a hologram world which doesn’t correspond to the real world is the unstated object of the PTB. Orwell puts it much better than I can.

”Totalitarianism … does not so much promise an age of faith as an age of schizophrenia. A society becomes totalitarian when its structures become flagrantly artificial: that is, when the ruling class has lost its functions but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud (usually a combination of both FL). Such a society, no matter how long it persists can never afford to be tolerant or mentally stable. It can never allow the truthful recording of facts or the emotional sincerity that literary demands.” (George Orwell – The Prevention of Literature.)

I was reading yesterday a piece called:

”Everything you need to know about Lexit in five minutes.” This was authored by someone called Ian Dunt (I resisted the small change to the surname) in a publication called Politics.co.uk a middle-market publication read by MP’s, journalists and various other remainer riff-raff. The article was cocky and generally uninformed as are most remainers. I replied by writing ‘Everything you need to know about Remaining in 5 seconds. But the real point is this. Mr Dunt asserts without any shame or equivocation that:-

”The EU is basically a social democrat project, based along German or Scandinavian lines.”

Really! where has this guy been for the last 20 years? Dunt is either incredibly ill-informed or is simply mendacious. Hologram journalism, courtesy of the MSM

vexarb
vexarb

Francis, it all depends which German or Scandinavian lines you envisage. Hitler envisioned a united Europe not too long ago, though his army was a lot more effective than our NATZO. And somewhat earlier, “From pestilence, fire and the Norseman may the good Lord preserve us.” An EU which aims to treat Truthers along the lines that Sweden treated Assange might be what Mr.Dunt has in mind. Or Mr.Dunt might fancy an EU along such German lines as, presenting Israel with nuclear-ready submarines to atone for the incineration of innocent Jews by empowering Jews to incinerate masses of Muslims and Christians.

vexarb
vexarb

Re: Business propaganda. Has anyone come across something like this in the MSM?

From reliable military analyst Canthama BTL today’s Syrper:
“Going back to Germany, the best thing Germany can do is to finalize NordStream II, it will guarantee a steady flow of competitive gas price to feed its industries and population, this small step toward competitiveness will be key for the future of this country.
As the world cools down on trade, Germany, which relies on exports of all sorts of goods, from high value machinery to instant coffee, will suffer big time; either Germany embraces trade with Eurasia-BRI forever, decoupling from western dependency, or it will suffer in years to come.”

[Remember Tim Jenkins called attention to ROI: even “a small step toward competitiveness” like a cheap reliable gas supply now can accumulate “big time” over the coming economic crisis predicted by Canthama. For reasons known only to the AZC, Denmark is doing its best to delay the final finalization of Nordstream 2. Is any of this discussed in a Main Stream Medium that any OffG reader knows of?]

DunGroanin
DunGroanin

The completion on Nordstream2 will ensure a secure and cheap gas supply to Europe – including the UK.

Just like the Kerch Bridge this pipeline has been putin (sorry) at a record speed – not a squeak from the msm. It only started last year and is expected to go live before the end of this year!
https://www.gazprom.com/projects/nord-stream2/

That threatens the nascent fracking industry in the UK and the deadly exploitation of it in the USA.

WE DON’T NEED TO DEVELOP IT

It undercuts the US fracking exports as well as LNG tanker supplies.

The price of gas will drop further and gas supply will become more secure.

The geopolitics of controlling Ukraine /Turkey , NME gets finessed.
As are relations with Russia who becomes strategic partners rather than enemy to the propagandised Europeans. Trade will be in Euros and settlement will be without the BIS probably.

Why do you suppose the Bankers and their minions like Macron tried to stop it? Why else have the gangster US thugs nato, been threatening the pipeline. Their Empires money tree of energy monopoly is dead -rejoice!

Merkel and Putin, the best leaders Europe have had this century and for the last 50 years, have sorted peace and growth, and are securing north to south supply and trade lines between the EU and Eurasia.

The old Anglo Empire is dead (they can’t admit it) – long live the new Eurasian Empire!

mark
mark

As the author states, you can no longer take anything at face value.
In the absence of convincing evidence to the contrary, you have to assume that everything we have been handed down from above is probably a lie.
It requires disciplined mental effort to grasp this simple fact.
From the human bodies turned into soap and lampshades, to the Iraq Incubator Babies, to Russiagate, to Skripal, and ten thousand other examples, we have been subjected to a tsunami of lies for over a century.
The most extreme scepticism is entirely justified and indeed essential.
You have to keep a completely open mind and question everything.
And this orthodoxy and received wisdom is protected with draconian punishments for any thought crime.
Anyone questioning the official narrative of the holocaust is immediately subject to prosecution and a very lengthy term of imprisonment.
Criticism of Israel now carries a 20 year prison sentence and a $1 million fine.
You have to ask what they have to hide.

Beyond that, most media reports and historical narratives are simply incorrect.
Take one very simple and relatively trivial example.
The air battle over Dieppe in August 1942.
Most accounts still refer to 170 German aircraft being destroyed.
The true figures are 48 German and 106 British aircraft.
Incorrect and misleading information is constantly being supplied after all this time.
This is quite routine.
Supposed experts and authorities are no more reliable than Wotsisname down the pub.
And that’s when they are not being deliberately mendacious.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

The ‘submissive void’ is also a spiritual/Love void.
Folks without a creative outlet, sense of contentment or equanimity, are much more vulnerable to the dis-ease of materialism.
Unconditional Love can fill that void, but it is a rare thing in this ‘me mine’ world.

Toby Russell
Toby Russell

Well said!

I’ve come to see love as unconditional by nature. Or, expressed differently: if it isn’t unconditional, it isn’t love. Because we can’t see how hollow and immature we are, we fall in need with people, establish needy relationships that are in essence emotional contracts that revolve around mutual needs, and suffer in them as time goes on. This unattended suffering needs lots of distractions to take the edge off, lots of ‘guidance’ from all those parental figures out there, otherwise the suffering and sense of being lost is too acute.

This immature neediness is one of the primary targets of the propaganda, a key element of our psychologies that is very carefully nourished and encouraged. The enemy of propaganda is a mature, spiritually evolved populace. All key educational, media, political and economic institutions are thus set up to prevent this maturity from developing, and ignored or crushed if they do not conform.

So it’s up to us as individuals to grow up, to do the work that points us in the direction of emotional and spiritual maturity, a direction that is in essence about becoming love. There is so much helpful material out there on this, the wisest thing to do is switch off as much of the mass media as we can, and tune into those outlets that encourage independence of thought. Simultaneously, look within at our own triggers, needs, angers and fears and learn to grow beyond them, mature beyond the buttons the propagandists need to push to manipulate us where they want us: divided and conquered.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

I’m with you on that Toby.
Of course Love is unconditional.
The Mothers of mass murderers may despise and be horrified by what their sons (and they usually are sons) have done, but some of them can’t stop Loving that ‘child’.

Derek
Derek

Dear Toby ,
Thank you for your thoughtful comment . One of the things which I often discuss with my grandchildren (all young adults) is about the unfortunate implications of current society’s efforts to ‘infantilise’ them . I spoke with an old work collegue and his family from Austria a couple of month’s ago and his third son (aged 26) spoke of his earnest work at University to qualify as a ‘trainee programmer’ , and lionised his elder brother who had an apprenticeship at Google . At that age I was living in N America with a wife , two kids and was a IT Project Manager . Myself I was impressed as a youth by the older generation men in Merseyside who’d ‘run away to sea’ at 14 or 15 ‘on the China station’ or whatever .
The business of becoming an adult , taking responsibility for your own actions and pursuing your own needs is something which increasingly modern elite society tries to influence in favour of its interests , subjecting our youth to longer and longer periods of manipulation and control before they are safe to be set free . I believe this is increasingly out of kilter with a ‘natural’ maturation process , a major element of which is Love ,
Derek

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

Have to agree, with every highly interesting word, of FD, Toby & Derek, your sound observations … Google is no longer a platform or a legal SEO, moreover, just another publisher, with an agenda that became real clear & evidentiary in 2016 and most importantly, even with Sergei & Eric Schmidt’s pro-active efforts and interference in the elections, google analytics was proven to be designed by a bunch of life’s losers (Trump would say) 😉 : which all gave me great personal satisfaction, having proved me correct, both in law & assessment of the most important factors to calculate, to defeat HRC and my public declaration of same at the Guardian well in advance of the elections, though nobody listened: it was good to know that my skills for research & analysis of data & logistics were still in tune with reality, not propaganda, having spent time in the wilds, rewilding animals in mountain pastures and mine were conclusions & analysis, that Robert Mercer paid for twice over, in his private poll of US citizens, that were close to erupting into civil war !

Critical thinking & the evolution of consciousness are sadly lacking in education today and ‘kowtow & heel to hell on earth’ is the doctrine, with a structured unnatural attempt @Cultural Genocide of the brain & its’ natural methods & instincts & processes for growth : whereby, it need not be so, particularly if it were mandatory for matters like The USS Liberty, The Lobby, Pavlov’s Dog & Schroedinger’s Cat were to become mandatory learning in all schools today, (to mention but a few significant examples, truly missing) …

See the relationship between Physiology & Psychology and I figure that a lot of kids would turn their nose up to any offer from google, today 😉
thanks for your smart comment, seriously:
regards,
Tim

P.s. I and my younger brother, got an empty ‘plastic’ imitation leather suitcase for a Christmas present, when I was 18 and he was 17, with a meassage ‘Out by January 2nd’ and we still laugh at the fact that his had a plane ticket in it, & mine didn’t, ‘innit’ … Lol, it might interest you that there was a 22 year old Indian ‘prick’ who got a brand new BMW for his birthday, last week, but he wanted a Jaguar, so he pushed the BMW fully submersed into a river, causing me to think on what might constitute adequate grounds for testing human submersible potential for endurance and environMental pollution of the egotistical kind … 🙂 before the feral faecal matter collides with the rotating oscillator !

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig

‘Unfortunately, a disturbing number of “establishment” journalists in the United States seem willing—indeed, eager—to throw [Assange] to the government wolves.’

Naturally. He’s doing the journalists’ job better than they are!

nottheonly1
nottheonly1

This brilliant essay is proof of the reflective nature of the Universe. The worse the propaganda and oppression becomes, the greater the likelihood such an essay will be written.

Such is the sophistication and ubiquity of the narrative control techniques used today—afforded increasingly by ‘computational propaganda’ via automated scripts, hacking, botnets, troll farms, and algorithms and the like, along with the barely veiled censorship and information gatekeeping practised by Google and Facebook and other tech behemoths — it’s become one of the most troubling aspects of the technological/social media revolution.

Very rarely can one experience such a degree of vindication. My moniker ‘nottheonly1’ has received more meaning with this precise depiction of the long history of the manipulation of the masses. Recent events have destroyed but all of my confidence that there might be a peaceful way out of this massive dilemma. Due to this sophistication in controlling the narrative, it has now become apparent that we have arrived at a moment in time where total lawlessness reigns. ‘Lawlessness’ in this case means the loss of common law and the use of code law to create ever new restrictions for free speech and liberty at large.

Over the last weeks, comments written on other discussion boards have unleashed a degree of character defamation and ridicule for the most obvious crimes perpetrated on the masses through propaganda. In this unholy union of constant propaganda via main stream ‘media’ with the character defamation by so called ‘trolls’ – which are actually virtual assassins of those who write the truth – the ability of the population, or parts thereof to connect with, or search for like minded people is utterly destroyed. This assault on the online community has devastating consequences. Those who have come into the cross hairs of the unintelligence agencies will but turn away from the internet. Leaving behind an ocean of online propaganda and fake information. Few are now the web sites on which it is possible to voice one’s personal take on the status quo.

There is one word that describes these kind of activities precisely: traitor. Those who engage in the character defamation of commenters, or authors per se, are traitors to humanity. They betray the collective consciousness with their poisonous attacks of those who work for a sea change of the status quo. The owner class has all game pieces positioned. The fact that Julian Assange is not only a free man, but still without a Nobel price for peace, while war criminals are recipients, shows just how much the march into absolute totalitarianism has progressed. Bernays hated the masses and offered his ‘services’ to manipulate them often for free.

Even though there are more solutions than problems, the time has come where meaningful participation in the search for such solution has been made unbearable. It is therefore that a certain fatalism has developed – from resignation to the acceptance of the status quo as being inevitable. Ancient wisdom has created a proverb that states ‘This too, will pass’. While that is a given, there are still enough Human Beings around that are determined to make a difference. To this group I count the author of this marvelous, albeit depressing essay. Thank you more that words can express. And thank you, OffGuardian for being one of the last remaining places where discourse is possible.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

nottheonly1
nottheonly1

This has to be the greatest Talkie ever. How much longer will it be available? For way too long, people have associated the Dictator with the one in Germany. But this speech is Nation-and Timeless. It can happen everywhere and at any time.

vexarb
vexarb

Bravo, Charlie Chaplin! Speaks to us now as he never spoke to our generation because we were too comfortable, we thought that in crushing Hitler we had won against the forces of greed and hate. Now they are rising again, stronger than ever, that speech might have been written today, it summarizes so much of the discussion BTL on Truther sites.

“To the great philosopher, Charlie Chaplin”, an autograph by Albert Einstein.

One of the Righteous Yanks, exiled from the U$A for Communism, let his name be written in the book.

Greg Maybury

MEMO TO: Not the only one…What can I say in response? I am very grateful. It has been getting some very positive responses (See below). It has been published on numerous sites including Russia Insider, GlobalResearch, Information Clearing House, Dissident Voice, The Greanville Post, Dandelion Salad, Lew Rockwell, OffGuardian, and my own blog Pox Amerikana, as well as having been cross-published by numerous others.

Along with expressing my appreciation to all the editors who have seen fit to publish my latest, I am very grateful to folks for making both the effort to read my work, and respond in kind. I don’t get paid for this gig, and that’s never been my primary motivation. So it’s your type of passionate feedback that keeps me doing my thing. It is especially pleasing after being told last year by the new editor of a prominent, highly respected news/opinion site with whom I used to publish regularly (no names, no pack drill), that after a 4+ year association, there was no longer a place for my work on the site. This was despite receiving consistently positive reviews from its readers in that time. I’m very glad I ignored his feedback and kept doing my thing. Best to you, GM

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

I’m extremely glad that you ‘stuck to your guns’ (as my gran. would have said 🙂 ) and must thank you both for this extremely high quality piece of, hard to find, professional journalism and this subsequent refreshingly honest piece of comment: which enriches the context & reader’s perspective of today …

Grand job, Greg:
Keep it up,
No fear.
Respect.
Tim

Greg Maybury

G’Day Tim, Ha ha. I think I’ve heard both my “grans” (now sadly passed) say something like this. I appreciate your feedback, and glad you liked it. Circulate widely as you see fit. Best, GM

GMW

Really great post! Thanks. I’m part of the way through reading Alex Carey’s book: “Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda Versus Freedom and Liberty,” referenced in this article. I’ve learned more about the obviously verifiable history of U.S. corporate propaganda in the first four chapters than I learned gaining a “minor” in history in 1974 (not surprisingly I can now clearly see). I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in just how pervasive, entrenched and long-standing are the propaganda systems shaping public perception, thought and behavior in America and the West.